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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  September 27, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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the president also said he knows firsthand the challenges many schools are facing, including right in the nation's capital. here's our chief white house correspondent chip reid. >> reporter: president obama's daughters, seventh grader malia, and fourth grader sasha go to an elite private school where tuition is more than $30,000 a year. today, the president, a strong proponent of public schools, was asked if he thought his daughters would get the same high quality education in a d.c. public school. >> i'll be blunt with you. the answer is no right now. the d.c. public school systems are struggling. >> reporter: the president said it's not just the d.c. schools. across the nation public schools are falling behind. he called for more money and a longer school year, but said that's only part of the solution more important, he said, is an aggressive program of education reform, but that puts the president in a political bind because much of his reform program has been resisted by the teachers' unions, a powerful
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democratic interest group. >> if president obama is going to have a reform agenda that really works and really makes a difference, he will have to take the teachers' unions on at least in part. he doesn't have to disagree with them on everything, but he has to make them hurt at least a little. >> reporter: areas where the unions have fought the president's agenda include the race-to--the-top program this n which the states compete for federal dollars for their own reform programs, using student test scores to evaluate teachers, even to set their pay, and firing teachers for poor performance. the head of the national education association, whose 3.2 million members make it the largest union in america, down played the difference and said he agrees with the president that the status quo is unacceptable. >> we support rigorous and fair evaluation systems. i can tell you educators don't want incompetent or ineffective teachers in the classroom. >> reporter: some advocates of education reform are urging the president to compromise with republicans if they take control
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of the house next year. you can bet that if he does that, his relations with the teachers unions will take a turn for the worse. katie? >> couric: chip, i know president is following the lead of other countries that do already have longer school years by about a month. how does he pro pose the do this? and how does he expect, or does he expect, to get blowback from parents and kids? >> reporter: absolutely, katie. it wouldn't be done by law. what they would do is encourage states and school districts to do it on their own. perhaps then they would get some of the blame. katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house. chip, thanks very much. in other news, this country's airlines have decided bigger is better-- at least for them. southwest announced today it's buying airtran for about $1.5 billion, just the latest in a series of airline mergers. when this marriage of discount carriers is completed, southwest will serve more than 100 million customers a year at more than 100 airports. airtran gives southwest a foothold in atlanta, the busiest
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airport in the country, and allows it to expand its operations in new york, boston, and the washington, d.c. area. the question for travelers is what will this mean for fares and fees which have been reaches new heights. mark strassmann tried to land some answers. >> reporter: whenever susan buckles flies, price means everything. she's the target traveler for today's announced merger of southwest and airtran, the new discount carrier juggernaut in america's skies. >> now that we've joined forces with southwest airlines, the potential to spread low fares fartherrer is even greater. >> reporter: discount carriers typically stimulate competition and can help lower airfares. but what about consolidation of major carriers? later this week, united and continental airlines formally become one and the world's biggest airline. two years ago, america had six major carriers. today with mergers there are four, plus southwest and other smaller airlines.
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air travelers are finding fewer seats and higher prices, on average about $43 higher than last year. >> they've worked hard to make flying not fun. >> reporter: not fun, but the industry is making money again. and the critical profit center? those pesky fees that airlines love to add. an average $25 for a checked bag, up to $35 for phone reservations, up to $300 to change a reservation. todd chancey flew from l.a. to orlando today. various fees hiked his ticket from $329 to $399. >> there's a certain limit i'll hit i will not pay. i'll drive. >> reporter: from april to june of this year, major airlines made $2.4 billion in profit. $1.3 billion came from a add-on fees. clearly the profit center. $745 million from checked bags alone. southwest charges no fees for changing flights or for the first two checked bags. >> keep my bag, not my money!
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>> reporter: and its merger with airtran may help lower ticket prices all over. >> wherever southwest goes, it's going to pressure their competitors. now, will they cut back on their fees? probably not. but i think it's going to put a lot of pressure on them for the long haul. >> reporter: just here in atlanta, southwest estimates it can save consumers $200 million a year. across america, fliers are hoping for a piece of the same savings. katie? >> couric: mark strassmann in atlanta. mark, thanks so much. sure air travelers may have plenty to gripe about, but passengers aboard a delta flight over the weekend had only praise for the crew after an emergency landing here in new york city. national correspondent jim axelrod has their stories and their incredible video. >> heads down! stay down! >> reporter: other a steady drum beat of a attendant's warning, delta connection flight 4951 came in for a crash landing. >> brace for impact. >> reporter: the plane took
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off from atlanta with 60 passengers and four crew members headed for white plains, new york. when the right landing gear wouldn't deploy, the plane was diverted to a longer runway at j.f.k. >> reporter: this man captured his video on his phone from his seat, 18b. >> there's an eerie silence, there's people praying around you. we were just bracing for the worst. >> stay down! >> reporter: the pilot, 55-year-old jack conroyd dipped the right wing down, shooting off sparks for 20 petrifying seconds. everyone was safe. today as mother hazel told us "that's my boy." >> he and the passenger had a big bear hug it looked to me like. and i thought how typical, because he's a a very loving man. >> reporter: today captain sully sullenberger has some company. >> he saved our lives. there's 64 people on that flight
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that are still walking around today because of that guy. >> reporter: that guy is america's newest hero pilot. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> couric: now to the war in afghanistan. just as it's escalating, general david petraeus says taliban leaders are now reaching out to the afghan government to begin reconciliation talks. but despite that overture, coalition forces have stepped up their attacks. over the weekend, u.s. helicopters crossed into pakistan, something they rarely do. and the pakistani government, a key ally, protested. but the air strikes reportedly killed more than 70 militants. and in the south, u.s. and afghan troops began a much-anticipated offensive to kick the taliban out of their hometown of kandahar. from from afghanistan, here's mandy clark. >> reporter: operation dragon strike. it's the most important battle in the afghan war so far. at least 8,000 u.s. troops are involved in the massive new offensive. >> this is where they're at
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right here. >> reporter: the aim is to strike right at the heart of taliban territory-- kandahar. >> roger, we have enemy pinned down here in the south. they keep trying to fire to maneuver out. >> reporter: some of the fearest fighting has been in zahri, a neighborhood west of kandahar. there has been heavy battles here for weeks as u.s. troops prepared for the assault. zahri is on the main highway to kandahar. from here, insurgent cans control a major supply route into the city, something u.s. troops want to stop. >> you got friendlies, i don't want them to shoot. >> reporter: it's the first major offensive where afghan troops-- as many as 10,000-- outnumber the americans. >> taliban dead! >> reporter: it's also the first large scale combat operations since marines went into marjah last february. since then, they've struggled to clear the town of insurgents and win over the civilian population. u.s. commanders warn of more tough fighting ahead. the kandahar offensive crucial
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to president obama's afghanistan strategy. clearing the city of insurgents, breaking the taliban grip in the south, and then convincing civilians that coalition troops are in control. mandy clark, cbs news, kabul. >> couric: here at home, people across the upper midwest are keeping an eye on the surging floodwaters. warnings are up from south dakota to central wisconsin, including the town of portage. more than 200 residents have been evacuated. the fear is record floods could breach a 120-year-old levee. the flooding was brought on by two days of very heavy rain last week. as much as ten inches, in fact, in some places. from rising water to climbing mercury. the temperature in los angeles hit a record high today-- 113 degrees. southern california is in the middle of a heat wave that had some people extending their weekend at the beach. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," everybody in the world has a story, and he's spun
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quite a tale for our steve hartman. but up next, campaign 2010 air wars. ads that are positively negative. [ male announcer ] if you have type 2 diabetes, you struggle to control your blood sugar. you exercise and eat right, but your blood sugar may still be high, and you need extra help. ask your doctor about onglyza, a once daily medicine used with diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. adding onglyza to your current oral medicine may help reduce after meal blood sugar spikes and may help reduce high morning blood sugar. [ male announcer ] onglyza should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. tell your doctor if you have a history or risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. onglyza has not been studied with insulin. using onglyza with medicines such as sulfonylureas may cause low blood sugar.
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[ man thinking ] i'm so stuffed with gas. ohh, noo, not that! not, not here! [ male announcer ] prevent uncomfortable gas moments with gas-x prevention. just one before meals helps prevent gas before it starts. from gas-x, the gas-xperts. >> couric: 36 days now until the midterm elections, and in the battle for control of congress, many candidates are
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turning to negative ads and for one reason, they work. this year, congressional correspondent nancy cordes reports, the attack ads are nastier than ever. >> when fancy was caught failing to pay taxes on $14 million. >> reporter: with the political winds blowing against them, democrats aren't just going negative, they're getting personal. >> fiorina tripled her salary, bought a million-dollar yacht. >> reporter: targeting their opponents' private spending, tax problems, even religious beliefs. >> daniel webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us. >> she should submit to me. that's in the bible. >> reporter: in this new ad, florida democratic alan grayson likens his opponent to the taliban. >> taliban dan webster. hands off our bodies. >> i think this will be the most negative election ever. >> reporter: evan tracy has been tracking political ads for 14 years. >> reporter: incumbents are not sending a lot of time going over their bio. they're going straight at opponents. take the reid race in nevada. >> reporter: senate majority
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leader harry reid calls his opponent extreme in three separate ads. >> sharron angle, just too extreme. >> reporter: she struck back with this. >> it may be the most tragic love story of our time, pelosi, obama, and harry reid. >> you don't end up liking anyone when you watch some of these ads because they're so nasty. >> and there's actually some design to that. >> reporter: that's because negative ads turn off voters and depress turnout which makes it easier for campaigns to figure out just how many voters they need to get to the polls. >> barack obama is the worst president in history. >> reporter: all that negativity makes the rare light hearted ad stands out. >> i guess i'm not a very good politician because i can't stand negative ads. every time i see one i feel like i need to take a shower. >> reporter: denver's mayor will have to take a lot of showers this election season. it's estimated politicians and outside groups will spend close to $3 billion on ads.
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nearly 70% of that spending will take place over the next five weeks, making all those negative ads impossible to ignore, katie. >> couric: all right. nancy cordes. thanks very much. meanwhile, a juice company is getting squeezed over its advertising. the f.t.c. filed complaints today against the makers of pom wonderful pom pomegranate juice. the commission says there's no science to back up claims the company's products treat or prevent medical problems like prostate cancer and heart disease. we'll be right back. to keep your bones strong. so ask your doctor about once-monthly boniva. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. studies show, after one year on boniva that's exactly what it did for nine out of ten women. and that's what it did for me. (announcer) don't take boniva if you problems with your esophagus, low blood calcium, severe kidney disease, or can't sit or stand for at least one hour.
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>> couric: there's been a bizarre accident involving one of those two segway vehicles. james heselden was killed yesterday when he lost control of his segway near his home in northern england and drove off a cliff and into a river. heselden knew a thing or two about segways, he owned the company that makes them. he was also one of britain's richest and most generous men. during his life, heselden gave about $36 million to charity. pro football fans remember george blanda as a quarterback who who never seemed to grow old. his hall of fame career spanned 26 years, the last nine with the oakland raiders were his most memorable. blanda could win a game by throwing a touchdown pass or kicking a field goal. he was nearly 49 when he retired back in 1976. george blanda died today. he was 83. gloria stuart was born with a wealth of talent and looks to
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match. a glamorous blond, she became a b-movie queen in the 1930s and '40s starring in such movies as "the invisible man." she left hollywood to become a painter and printer, mostly forgotten as an actress. that is until one "titanic" break. >> the china had never been used the sheets had never been slept in. "titanic" was called the ship of dreams. >> reporter: in 1997 at the age of 87, she became the oldest actor ever no, ma'am named for an oscar for her role as a "titanic" survivor. gloria stuart died yesterday at her home in los angeles. she was 100. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package.
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grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪ grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you ♪ is to love... some people call us frick and frack. we do finger painting. this is how grandpa and i roll. ♪ and i do [ pins fall ] grandma's my best friend. my best friend ever. my best friend ever. ♪ [ laughing ] [ boy laughs ] ♪ to know, know, know you after this we're gonna get ice cream. can we go get some ice cream? yeah. ♪ and i do ♪ and i do ♪ and i do
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words alone aren't enough. our job is to listen and find ways to help workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. we'll keep restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right. want to transform dinner from blah to oh la la? cook with campbell's. with touches like a splash of fresh cream or sauterne wine. our soups help you put smiles on the faces of the ones you love. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ how new is the new edge with myford touch? well you could never do this before. or this. or this.
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you definitely couldn't do this. play kate's mix. or this. temperature, 72 degrees. say hello to the new edge with myford touch.™ quite possibly the world's smartest crossover. >> couric: we end with our latest attempt to show that people all over the world-- people you've never met in places you may never go-- have really interesting stories to tell about an experience we all share: being human. a man up above sent steve hartman down under for tonight's "everybody in the world has a story." >> liftoff! >> reporter: generally speaking, reporters and astronauts have little in
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common. let's face it, journalism isn't rocket science. but murphy's law applies equally to both, especially in this. our next joint mission with nasa. to find a story where astronaut jeff williams just pointed. houston, we have a problem. several problems, actually. for starters, exactly where jeff pointed was nowhere. the closest town three hours down this dirt road to docker river. it's an aboriginal community of just 300-- which brings us to our second problem. normally, this is the point where i pick a name out of the phone book. but docker river has no phone book and the aboriginal people are notoriously shy. so instead we went around and got the names of all the people who would be willing to talk to us. oops, went back inside. there were three. i'm going to put those names in a bucket and draw our winner.
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trevor adamson. unfortunately, trevor changed his mind. lee cooper. so did lee-- thank god for this man. bevyn young. bevyn young lives in the camel-colored house behind the camel-colored camel. despite breaking his foot recently, bevyn was more than willing to walk me through his story. 46 years old and an artist by trade, he first apologized for his reluctant neighbors who he says are always suspicious of non-aboriginals. you didn't seem to care that i was white. >> i wouldn't care if you was shrek sitting down talking to me. i'm talk to anyone, you know? >> reporter: that said, even bevyn didn't want to be seen talking to me, so he brought us out here to the bush before launching into this unbelievable story. >> it was a bit sad. >> reporter: it's really sad. bevyn told me he's part of australia's stolen generations. starting in the early 1900s and continuing into the 1970s
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it was actually australian government policy to take aboriginal children away from their parents and place them in institutions or foster homes under the guise of helping the children become civilized. the government kidnapped about. 100, 000 kids total. >> you'd never know your mom and dad. >> reporter: how long were you? >> three months old. >> reporter: three months mold? >> a baby, three months old. >> reporter: bevyn said he was sent to live with a white woman in sydney where he stayed until the age of 18 he decided to return to his aboriginal roots. >> it's a magnet that brings us back. >> reporter: his was quite a story. until i found out it was just that-- a story. >> it's a fantasy that he's got. >> reporter: we visited the woman bevyn said raised him. >> i love him dearly but i didn't bring him up. >> reporter: laraine van dyk says she didn't even meet bevyn until she was 30. they're just friends.
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she says the only grain of truth to the story he told me and tells everybody is that he was forced to leave his village, but it was at the age of 10 and it was his own family that sent him away. apparently bevyn was addicted to sniffing gasoline-- it's a big problem here-- and he needed treatment. laraine thinks he has rewritten history as a coping mechanism. >> because he was sent away when he was 10, i think he's just craved someone to love him. >> reporter: in all the years i've done this, i've never have someone just fabricate their story. yet my trip to docker river was far from wasted. although i'd heard of the stolen generations, i had no idea the extent of the scars and resentment that still festers 40 years later. of course, the irony is that i didn't learn that from the one man who agreed to talk to me but wrather from those 299 who flat out refused. during the time of the kidnappings, it's estimated that up to one in three aboriginal children were taken from their parents.
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bevyn just wasn't one of them. fortunately, we had a lot better luck in china, that's next week. >> couric: which is good to hear. it turned out to be an interesting story, though, steve. >> reporter: just wasn't his story. >> couric: and it was made tougher by the fact that you had a close encounter with a drop dare-- a one-humped camel. >> i was minding my own business and it started eating our side view mirror here and then it started... this camel started... it started attacking me for no real reason. >> couric: did that hurt? >> no, it didn't hurt it was just gumming me or something but... anyway. >> couric: it made for money videos we've gotten a lot of use out of. that's the "cbs evening news." i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. see you back here tomorrow. for the latest news online, go old gibbs canning company.
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today these factories are full of dot com businesses. and now my job is helping maryland create new economy jobs. training new math and science teachers investing in our institutions of excellence pioneering new cyber security jobs and giving an old gm plant a jump start building electric motors. i'm barbara mikulski. i approve this message so you'll know i'm fighting for you.
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now, "entertainment tonight," the most-watched entertainment news magazine in the world. sarah palin's "dancing" debut. >> a lost hard work and passion. >> will she make the first front-row appearance. what we've learned. inside bristol's rehearsal back home. >> this is an "e.t." exclusive. >> from wasilla, alaska. >> will sarah's daughter bus loose tonight? >> florence, p kyle, who is dancing what? as


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